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Running to the beat

By Matthias / 28summits on 2014.05.26 In Staying in shape Summit training

I am actually not sure to which beat I am running to. Is it the beat of my heart, the music from my headphones or is it the slave driver that is my ambition drumming to push me to go on and on? I guess it is a mix of all of them that keeps me sticking to the training. After fifth months of running I want to sum up my experiences so far and give you a short update on my complicated relationship with running.

Back in January when I was still living in Sweden I started with doing intervals on the snowy forest trails (read more about the start here). Running did not come easy to me and I had to push myself to finish the workouts on my training schedule. But it felt good to get out despite the cold and the darkness. One thing that kept me going was the strong belief that I would soon reach the point where it would be easier and where it would be just plain fun to run. Now after those almost five months I got to admit that I was wrong and right at the same time. For me in running there are good days and there are bad days. But let me start with telling you about the good days first.IMG_20140329_181817

After I moved to Germany I was able to pick up my running schedule properly again. Just running intervals did not deliver the results I was hoping for, so I switched to a training plan with the goal to run 5 kilometers in a proper time. This goal might not seem ambitious, but considering my level of endurance and the repercussions of a lung surgery I had years ago do not serve as the best base. To work on this I was really happy to discover an extended trail network that basically starts behind the house I am living in now. Running just comes easier when you are running into the sunset.IMG_20140420_195636

With the new training schedule I am now running at least three times a week and I am slowly seeing progress. When I was home visiting my parents I had wonderful runs with our dogs in the forests surrounding our village. The forest trails are a bigger challenge as you have to look out for the roots and other things you could trip on, but it feels great to get off the asphalt and into the woods. However, one of my best days so far was in the middle of a big city again.IMG_20140429_205002

When I was visiting friends in Hamburg I took my running shoes along and went out to look for a running trail that would be as green as possible. Along one of the canals I found a nice park that went on for quite a long stretch and provided an ideal running ground. The first run was just a brief four kilometers along the canal, but it already felt great. Two days later two of my friends accompanied me on the best run I had so far. I do not know the exact reason, but there are some factors that made it great. Well, first of all it was a sunny and nice morning in Hamburg and we had the trail for ourselves. I still do not manage to pace myself properly, but in a group of three we managed to keep a nice pace that I could keep for a while. And then of course there is the ambitious little drummer inside of me that would not be able to accept defeat. All of this factored in turned into the longest I have probably ever run and I achieved the first goal I set myself for this year: to run ten kilometers in an hour. It was a great day and I still cannot believe I managed to pull through.

But there cannot only be good days, so let us turn to some of the not so good days and the reasons for that.IMG_20140423_202817

Except for the weekend runs, I now usually run in the evening after work. It feels good to get out and move your body after a long day in the office, but at the same time I often feel quite worn out. Quite often I have to push myself to go out again after changing into my running gear and setting off into the twilight. On those days it feels like I stepped out of bed with the wrong foot and I just do not feel good. So I have to take a break in a longer run or skip an interval because I just cannot go on running.IMG_20140509_203021

Considering the weather I was quite lucky the last few weeks and except for one run where I was wet to the bones, the weather was nice. But even the weather cannot compensate my lack of a proper pace. I often run too fast at the beginning and consequently do not manage to finish the distance I planned to do. Just today I planned to do a nice 5k evening run, but after I started off a bit too fast, I only managed four kilometers before I had to slow down. IMG_20140523_221355

Running like life has its ups and downs. There are good days and there are bad days, but all in all I feel better and better. Even when I start thinking about skipping a workout there is the small drummer inside of me that keeps me going and reminds me of the plans for this summer. The short trip to Portugal will only be a welcome warmup for this season. But the two week program I am planning for the middle of the summer will be quite challenging and I need to get in a good shape facing the summits in Austria and Slovenia.

So to all the people that have a hard time sticking to running or getting started, just focus on the good days and believe me there will be plenty. And if running is not your guilty pleasure just put on your hiking boots, get on your bike or slide into a kayak and get out there. And if you do not want to listen to me, listen to Mister Henry David Thoreau:

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

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About me

This blog is about my 28Summits Challenge with the goal of reaching the highest points of each member state of the European Union.

Matthias

My name is Matthias, I am 28 years old. Growing up close to the Alps I have been hiking basically all my life. I love being outdoors and exploring the nature. When I am not doing this I am working in media management or follow up on my other passion of cooking and baking.

On this site I will share my experiences along the road to achieve the challenge I set myself. Furthermore, I will blog about my other hiking trips as well as media about the outdoors.

/ Matthias

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